Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria 12th-Oct-2017 - Page 35

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017 35 international business Spain-Catalonia relief nudges world stocks to fresh high T HE United States Treasury prices rose and world stocks were up slightly on Wednesday ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting, while the euro rose after Catalonia held off on moving towards independence. As reported by Reuters, Spanish stocks rallied and the euro reached a two- week high after Catalonia’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, declined to make a formal independence declaration on Tuesday to allow for talks with Madrid. That disappointed many pro- independence supporters but pleased financial markets. The euro move helped push the dollar index down for the fourth day in row. The dollar was weak ahead of Fed minutes and on uncertainties about the prospects for US tax reform. Wall Street’s major stock indexes treaded water as a jump in shares of consumer staples was offset by a drop in financials a day before the start of the quarterly reporting season. “Third-quarter results of large banks are expected to be tepid,” said Stephen Biggar, an analyst at Argus Research. “Trading revenue (will be) down due to low volatility and loan growth remaining flat to slightly negative.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.77 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 22,846.45, the S&P 500 gained 0.47 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 2,551.11 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.49 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 6,592.74. A 1.3- per cent jump in Spain's IBEX more than reversed its decline in the previous session while the broader equities market showed a lackluster performance. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost D 0.08 per cent and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.10 per cent. Meanwhile, the US dollar fell to a two-week low against a basket of currencies ahead of the Fed’s release of its September policy meeting minutes where it decided to pare the central bank’s $4.5- tn balance sheet. The dollar index .DXY fell 0.25 per cent, with the euro EUR= up 0.38 per cent to $1.1851. Also, US President Donald Trump’s spat with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, an influential fellow Republican, raised concerns that Trump’s tax reform push may be in jeopardy. “Squabbles surrounding Trump’s efforts come as no surprise, but it is still not helping the dollar,” said Yukio Izhizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. Meanwhile, US Treasuries investors were betting on a rate hike in December ahead of the Fed minutes. “Speakers have been out in force recently and I think they’ve been pretty clear that a December rate hike is certainly on the table,” said Thomas Simons, a money market economist at Jefferies in New York. Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last rose 3/32 in price to yield 2.3356 per cent, from 2.345 per cent late on Tuesday. Ofgem extends energy price cap to more customers T •Traders working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange ...on Wednesday. Photo: AFP P Pfizer considers consumer business sale FIzER may be done selling ChapStick, Advil, Robitussin and other brands that people can buy without a prescription. As reported by The Associated Press , the pharmaceutical giant is weighing options for its consumer health care business. It may spin off or sell the unit, which also produces Advil, Preparation H and the Centrum brand of vitamins. Pfizer may also leave the business as is, with no sale. The New York drugmaker expects any decisions on the business to be made next year. Chairman and CEO Ian Read said Tuesday that consumer health products are distinct enough from the company’s main biopharmaceutical business that its value might be “more fully realized” outside the company. The consumer health care unit had revenue of about $3.4bn last year, while the company as a whole recorded $52.8bn. Centerview Partners, Guggenheim Securities and Morgan Stanly are working as financial advisers for the review. Pfizer’s larger prescription drug business includes the erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra, the breast cancer drug Ibrance and the cholesterol fighter Lipitor. The company booked a $3.07bn profit in the in the second quarter on $12.9bn in revenue. The company will report third-quarter results later this month. Pfizer said in August that it expects to gain regulatory approvals over the next five years for up to 18 new drugs and a half-dozen “biosimilars,” or near-generic versions of complex injected drugs manufactured inside cells. But the drugmaker also faces competition from cheaper, generic versions of key products like Lipitor, which was the world’s top selling drug for a decade. Pfizer shares edged up 28 cents to close at $36.42. The stock price has climbed about 12 per cent so far this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen more than 13 per cent. Delta refuses to pay tariffs on Bombardier CSeries jets ELTA Air Lines Inc on Wednesday said the carrier would not foot the bill of a 300 per cent tariff that the United States Commerce Department wants to impose on Canadian- built Bombardier CSeries, leaving the future of the planemaker’s jets in limbo. “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk,” Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said on the carrier’s third-quarter earnings call, Reuters The 30-year bond US30YT=RR last rose 10/32 in price to yield 2.8649 per cent, from 2.881 per cent late on Tuesday. Oil prices gave back earlier gains. US crude CLcv1 fell 0.41 per cent to $50.71 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $56.24, down 0.65 per cent on the day. reports. Bastian called the US Commerce Department ruling “nonsensical” but said that the carrier still expects to take the jets. The proposed duties would not take effect unless affirmed by the US International Trade Commission early next year. 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